Flu season takes hold in Allamakee County; still time to get a flu shot

The influenza season is in full swing in Iowa, with cases now confirmed in Allamakee County. It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Vaccination now can still provide protection for the remainder of the flu season, which can last as late as May. In addition, simple steps like frequent hand washing and not coughing or sneezing on people can help prevent the spread of influenza. Most importantly, those who are ill should stay home from work or school.
Flu vaccines are developed each year to protect against the three most common flu viruses expected during the influenza season. No vaccine covers all strains or is guaranteed to match 100 percent of the viruses.
The most common symptoms of influenza are fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Vomiting, diarrhea or a stomach ache are not symptoms of influenza. Most people recover from influenza within a week, but the virus can cause complications, such as pneumonia, in the very young, elderly, or those with chronic diseases.
Flu shots are available without appointment each Wednesday afternoon during the weekly immunization clinic in the Community and Home Care Department located on the upper level of Veterans Memorial Hospital, Waukon. The next immunization clinics are scheduled for February 17 from 1-6 p.m. and then again February 24 from 1-4 p.m.
Immunization clinics are held from 1-6 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month, and from 1-4 p.m. all other Wednesdays. Flu shots are also available by appointment from a Community and Home Care Nurse. Anyone interested is asked to call the Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care Office at 563-568-5660 to schedule a time.